Positive self-talk carries you past the moments of weakness and helps to cement your commitment to your actions.
Every Fitness goal, no matter the size, seems monumental at first. Long term goals are great, but your commitment may waiver, and the first few temptations you encounter along the way may lead you astray. You need a plan to counter these moments of potential weakness. This is the only time, in my experience, that instant gratification could be a useful tool in your fitness journey. BUT FIRST, we need to reprogram our thought process, and it all starts with self-talk.
“Staying on track is hard, my diet is my biggest problem.”
I’ve heard this countless times, coupled with little tolerance for any change in the normal routine. It’s here that self-talk can either make or break our commitment. For instance, what do you say to yourself when you see an apple, as opposed to say, a bag of chips? “Uggggh, great, man! I wish apples tasted more like chips. I hate eating healthy.” What kind of positive message does that send to our subconscious? I’ll give you a hint; it’s not a good one!
Instead, consider positive self-talk. Say things like: “I’ll do whatever it takes,” “I will be the best version of myself,” “This will not take me away from my goals,” or “I’m one step closer.” Positive self-talk carries you past the moments of weakness and helps to cement your commitment to your actions. And be sure to treat these moments where you stay routed to your fitness goals as tiny victories. Because it’s in these countless small moments throughout the day where you’ll find your immediate gratification. Remember it isn’t WHAT you’re going through, it’s WHERE you’re going to! These small “wins” should be treated as FUEL to keep you going. It all starts with the right mindset, fed by positive self-talk.
In the gym, getting down on yourself is a real motivation killer. Instead, implement the same thought process in your training as you do for your meals and diet. Set small achievable goals, such as hitting a different weight on an exercise or trying a different class. These are great ways to harness instant gratification as a tool of empowerment, rather than as a speed bump that slows you down.
I tell my clients all the time, “It isn’t about the weight, it isn’t about how many reps, it’s all about putting in the BEST YOU can.” Try setting a short-term goal each day to keep yourself motivated, empowered and aware that every day can bring a positive change. Try seeing the value in every little thing you do; this is instantly gratifying in itself! Never forget that every single day counts and that you are one step closer to hitting whatever long term goals you’re after. Ultimately, fitness is a lifestyle and a journey, so be sure to enjoy that journey, and celebrate the short-term, long-term and, yes, even the immediate goals.
About the Author
Erik Borenstein is ISSA-certified with a degree in Kinesiology and Physical Science. He has been featured in Nike athletics and is a 4-time NPC body building middle weight competitor, as well as top finisher in the Long Island Strong Man competition.